When writing and art meet

MANUMED, calligraphy exhibition in the Mediterranean

Published on 23 October 2011

Author(s): Euromedheritage

Type:  Project news

Why to promote calligraphy? Because it is an essential component of human civilization. The richness, diversity and the universality of the calligraphic heritage should be shared with the public.

For this reason an exhibition on the theme of calligraphy - "La main du calligraphe”(The hand of the calligrapher) - will be opened on November 25, 2011 in Ghardaïa (Algeria) by the Centre de Conservation du Livre (Arles), in partnership with the Directorate of Culture Ghardaïa. This project is part of the framework of the Manumed project, funded by the European Union within the Euromed Heritage Programme.

Rehal and Qoran Photo Manumed.jpg
Photo: Manumed

The exhibition will feature the work of several calligraphers from different Mediterranean countries (Algeria, France, Turkey, Morocco, etc.). It will also be an opportunity to discover many manuscripts, centuries old, presented by the association of Abi Ishak Tefeyche, the Bibliothèque Nationale d'Algérie (National Library of Algeria) and the association for the protection of the heritage of the town of Bou Saada.

Workshops for young people and a calligraphy contest will be held on November 26, 2011 in collaboration with the Association TAGEMI and El-Atteuf Cultural Centre. The workshops will be organized and open for all interested local youth of Ghardaïa. The workshops will be led by three calligraphers participating in the exhibition. "The Contest is open to amateurs and calligraphers, so they can share their works with the public," said the expert Carol Giordano from the MANUMED project.

After selection by a committee, three calligraphers will be selected for the exhibition. These will then have the chance to exhibit their work at the exhibition. Awards, including the first prize of an internship at the CCL, will be held on the opening day of the exhibition. Anyone who wishes to participate (aged between 16 and 25) can send their digital works (a maximum of three), along with a short biography, to: manumed@ccl-fr.org. Their works will then be forwarded to the selection committee. The deadline for submissions is 5 November 2011.

The exhibition is part of the MANUMED project, which aims to raise awareness among the public about the written Mediterranean heritage and to enhance book crafts. "The written heritage is not only a complex idea, synthesis of the concrete and intangible, of the past, the present and the future,” explains Carol Giordano “it's a concept in constant renewal, which changes along with the contemporary socio-economic changes. The goal of making it available to all may be one of the finest challenges of our time: the project of transforming this monument of memory in a daily space of practice of the knowledge and of the dialogue of cultures ".

Today the written heritage is unfortunately seen as a component of the hermetic cultural heritage reserved for scholars and researchers. "The aim of the project,” continues Giordano, “was and continues to be to make it accessible to a wider and sometimes unaware audience, with the gradual removal of the barriers that surround it..." The development of a video game for a younger audience about the world of libraries and manuscripts, which is another part of this project, fits perfectly into this dynamic.


From 13.12.08 To 13.12.11
Budget: € 1.740.841
Participating countries: Algeria, Belgium, East Jerusalem, Egypt, France


  • Awareness-raising of the value and diversity of cultural heritage among the populations 
  • Preservation and enhancement of the cultural diversity of Mediterranean languages and manuscripts
  • Increase knowledge and conservation of book collections in Maghreb and Mashreq countries
  • Promotion of book craftsmen of the Mediterranean region involved in books work and enhancement of their activities within a perspective of sustainable development

To find out more:

Project website http://www.manumed.org

Euromed Heritage project fiche

Centre de Conservation du Livre http://www.ccl-fr.org

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